BBEdit Updated to 9.3

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Date: Thursday, November 5th, 2009, 04:57
Category: Software

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Late Thursday, Bare Bones Software released version 9.3 of BBEdit, its popular text and HTML editor. The software retails for US$125 for new users. The new version, a 16.1 megabyte download, features the following fixes and improvements:

- Introduces significant enhancements to the Projects feature that debuted in BBEdit 9.0, including support for adding Finder saved searches to projects, and additional flexibility in handling non-text files, including command-driven support for examining files via QuickLook when running on Mac OS X 10.6.

- The BBEdit 9.3 update now lets customers create language-specific ctags data files to serve as completion sources.

- FTP/SFTP browsers now feature a “New” button allowing for the creation of new files and folders directly within the browser window.

- The clippings system has been enhanced to allow combining clipping sets for easier access when working in mixed-language files.

- Attached menu scripts are now easier to manage from within BBEdit’s own preferences.

- BBEdit 9.3 introduces a new command-line tool, “bbfind”, which provides access to BBEdit’s multi-file searching from the Unix command line.

BBEdit 9.3 retails for US$125 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

Adium Updated to 1.3.8

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Date: Thursday, November 5th, 2009, 04:36
Category: Software

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Adium, the open source instant message chat client with support for multiple programs (including AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo! Google Talk, Bonjour, etc.) has been updated to version 1.3.8.

The new version, a 21.4 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Updated pidgin-facebook chat, fixing login.
- Corrected the Events preferences not displaying the correct list on Snow Leopard.

Adium X is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run. The program functions as a Universal Binary and runs at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.

Some MacBook, MacBook Pro Users Report Overheating Under Snow Leopard

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Date: Wednesday, November 4th, 2009, 04:30
Category: MacBook, MacBook Pro

A number of MacBook and MacBook Pro users are reporting that their systems running inordinately hot after upgrading to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, causing their fans to work exceptionally loud. According to CNET, users in this thread on the Apple Support Discussions forums focus the issue primarily on MacBook Pros, though some scattered entries from MacBook owners suggest the issues may be noticed in many of Apple’s notebooks.

Users’ machines tend to run extremely hot, causing the fans to cycle at a high rate and deplete battery power at an accelerated clip. ASD forum user “Ryan83″ reports:

“Fans running constantly at 6000 RPM without any program running – - just letting it idle or running solely iTunes. iPhoto 09 unusable – - when you edit in full screen – - the screen shows colored artifacts all over. Internet has been very spotty and misbehaves.”

Similar symptoms are reported by many of the thread contributors. Typically, CPU usage will spike when users do media-heavy actions with their systems, such as editing photos with Photoshop, cutting movies with Final Cut Pro, or watching media online at sites like YouTube or Hulu. Some users suggest that it could be a hardware issue with the actual fans, though this is unlikely (at least at first). Because most users report the problem after their upgrade to Snow Leopard, chances are it is a software issue. If left unattended, the problem could eventually lead to the fans, logic board, or other hardware becoming corrupt.

Some things to check :
- Be sure all your programs are Snow Leopard compatible. Several users reported that updating the notification utility, Growl, to the Snow Leopard ready version, 1.2, solved their overheating issues. Users should open Activity Monitor (Applications > Utilities) and take a look at any background processes that may be running. If any of those programs are not Snow Leopard compatible, they could be causing the excessive CPU usage and heat production.

- When in doubt, especially if you are under AppleCare, taking your machine to an AppleCare Authorized Technician or an Apple Store is a good idea. You will want to avoid any future damage to your hardware as soon as possible. Keep in mind that a solution may involve reinstalling Snow Leopard. Be sure you have a stable and current backup of all your important data. As we have mentioned in recent articles, the 10.6.2 update for Snow Leopard is expected very soon and includes (based on information from beta releases) a myriad of fixes that may include a solution to the overheating issue. When the update is made available, drop by MacFixIt to get a rundown of all the included fixes.

If you’ve seen this issue on your end or found a workaround or fix of your own, please let us know in the comments.

Onyx 2.1 Out the Door

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Date: Monday, November 2nd, 2009, 10:32
Category: Software

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Onyx, Titanium Software’s popular freeware multifunction utility for Mac OS X, has been updated to version 2.1. The new version, a 12.1 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:

- Very many modifications in this version of Onyx. They relate to primarily compatibility with Snow Leopard.
- No installer anymore… Just drag and drop.
- Now, you can uninstall OnyX from the OnyX menu of the application.

OnyX requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

VMWare Releases Fusion 3.0

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Date: Tuesday, October 27th, 2009, 08:57
Category: Software

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On Tuesday, virtualization softare maker VMWare released version 3.0 of its Fusion software for the Mac.

Similar to other virtualization software packages, VMWare allows users to run alternate operating systems such as Windows and Linux distributions on Intel-based Macs at native speeds. Other features, such as Unity, allow users to run and minimize Windows applications from the Mac OS X Dock.

The new version, which can be found here, offers the following new features and fixes:

- Support for 4-way SMP to maximize performance on the latest iMac and Mac Pro. Lower overhead and up to 2X faster resume time for a suspended virtual machine.

- More Mac-Like Than Ever. Banish the start menu and launch Windows apps from the new “always-on” applications menu, even when VMware Fusion isn’t running.

- Optimized for Snow Leopard. Built from the ground up for the Mac, VMware Fusion 3 leverages Mac OS X Snow Leopard’s advanced architecture with a new 64-bit core engine and native support for the 64-bit kernel.

- VMware Fusion 3 will be the first to enable the full Windows 7 experience, side-by-side with your Mac, complete with Windows Aero and Flip 3D.

- Support for OpenGL 2.1 and DirectX 9.0c Shader Model 3 will enable users to run their favorite 3D Windows games and applications.

The software requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run and retails for US$79.99.

Current Version of Boot Camp Will Lack Support for Windows 7 on Some 2006 Mac Models

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Date: Friday, October 23rd, 2009, 03:24
Category: iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Software

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In a recent memo to retail partners, Apple has announced that it will deliver support for Windows 7 in Mac OS X Snow Leopard’s Boot Camp utility by the end of the year via a software update, but exclude support for some Macs sold in 2006. Per AppleInsider, the drivers provide native support for Mac-specific hardware under Windows, such as a backlit keyboard, built-in iSight camera, trackpad, Bluetooth, graphics, networking, audio, and so on. Snow Leopard’s Boot Camp 3.0 also installs read-only HFS+ support for viewing Mac volumes under Windows.

According to the announcement, a series of Mac models “will not be supported for use with Windows 7 using Boot Camp,” specifically:

- iMac (17″, Early 2006)

- iMac (17″, Late 2006)

- iMac (20″, Early 2006)

- iMac (20″, Late 2006)

- MacBook Pro (15″, Early 2006)

- MacBook Pro (17″, Late 2006)

- MacBook Pro (15″, Late 2006)

- MacBook Pro (17″, Early 2006)

- Mac Pro (Mid 2006, Intel Xeon Dual-core 2.66GHz or 3GHz)

The reason for not officially supporting these models has not yet been officially stated. Because of how Boot Camp works, the only reason specific Mac models would not be supported is because compatible drivers are not available. This would not prevent Windows 7 from being installed on these machines, but could result in certain devices not working as expected while running Windows.

Third party drivers for the unsupported devices (if they exist) could solve any issues, and Windows 7 may offer to install drivers for devices it recognizes but does not have built in support for; it may even identify and download the drivers automatically.

Of the unsupported machines in the supplied list, the Early 2006 iMacs and MacBook Pro models have 32-bit Core Duo CPUs, but the other models specified feature 64-bit Core 2 Duos or Xeon processors, and no other 32-bit Macs (MacBooks, mini) are excluded. Apple has yet to release any comments about providing support for the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 only, so the support issue does not appear to have anything to do with these models’ CPU or firmware.

The only other common thread between these machines is that they all originally shipped with either no or disabled support for 802.11n wireless networking. However, late 2006 MacBooks also shipped with disabled support for 802.11n, and no Mac minis supported 802.11n until 2009, so this does not appear to be a factor either.

Apple is expected to clarify the issue when it releases the Windows 7 driver update for Boot Camp users.

Apple Releases Third Beta Build of Mac OS X 10.6.2 Update to Developers

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Date: Monday, October 19th, 2009, 04:38
Category: Software

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Over the weekend, Apple sent its third beta release of the forthcoming Mac OS X 10.6.2 update with fixes for QuickTime, iChat, and a widely reported guest account glitch that could delete user data to its developer community.

Per AppleInsider, sources familiar with build 10C527f said the latest update has only one known issue, and has a number of fixes in 13 different focus areas. It also reportedly provides reliability improvements for iWork, iLife, Aperture, Final Cut Studio, MobileMe, iDisk, and Safari plug-ins.

The update also reportedly fixes a glitch that could delete user data. This issue is triggered by logging in and out of a guest account on a Snow Leopard machine. Upon logging back in to their regular account, some users may find that it has been wiped of all data. Apple acknowledged the issue earlier this week and has stated that the company is working on a fix.

The latest build allegedly provides a number of GraphicsDrivers fixes, including resolutions for crashes with OpenCL, a screen flickering issue, and stuttering while playing 1080p content with QuickTime Player X.

The update is also said to resolve an issue that did not allow some QuickTime movies to play in QuickTime Player X.

A handful of iMovie-related issues were also addressed, including color shift issues and a crash that occurred when looping previews of titles in the skimming palette.

The update is currently a 483.5 megabyte file, and is the third beta release in less than two weeks. The previous build of Mac OS X 10.6.2 was provided to developers on Oct. 9. The last build addressed nearly 150 general focus areas covering a wide range.

Cocktail 4.5.2 (Snow Leopard Edition) Released

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Date: Wednesday, October 14th, 2009, 05:37
Category: Software

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On Tuesday, shareware developer Maintain released version 4.5.2 of Cocktail (Snow Leopard Edition), Cocktail, the popular shareware utility program that allows for additional Mac OS X system tests.

The new version, a 2.0 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Fixed a bug causing high CPU usage on 32-bit Macs.
- Improvements on the clear font caches procedure.
- Improvements on the clear dynamic link editor’s shared caches procedure.
- Addresses compatibility issues with QuickTime X.
- Addresses compatibility with the latest versions of Camino, Firefox, Flock, OmniWeb, Opera and Shiira web browsers.
- Addresses an issue in which Cocktail may report problems with diskutil.
- Fixed a bug in which some items in /private/tmp folder were not deleted during clearing of the temporary files.
- Addresses an issue in which check of the S.M.A.R.T. status may fail.
- Addresses an issue in which two Help menus are displayed.
- Fixed miscellaneous issues with the Sparkle software update framework.
- Fixed other minor bugs discovered in the previous version.

Cocktail 4.5.2 retails for a US$14.95 shareware registration fee and requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to run.

Apple Acknowledges Snow Leopard Data Loss Issue

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Date: Tuesday, October 13th, 2009, 07:35
Category: News, Software

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Since the release of Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), a number of users have reported that their personal data has gone missing after logging into their guest accounts. According to CNET, Apple now says it’s working on finding a fix.

“We are aware of the issue, which occurs only in extremely rare cases, and we are working on a fix,” an Apple representative said in a prepared statement Monday.

The statement marks the first time Apple has said it is looking into the issue. In early September, a handful of Mac users reported the issue on Apple’s discussion boards. The problem, when it occurs, goes like this: when logging into the guest account on their Mac first and then logging into their regular account, some users are finding all their data to be missing and their accounts completely reset.

This doesn’t appear to be a widespread problem and there are currently less than 100 posts on several current discussion threads on the issue. Microsoft is currently dealing with a massive data loss at its Danger subsidiary, the company it acquired that makes the Sidekick mobile phone.

Apple’s data loss issue marks the most recent significatn bug with the Mac OS X 10.6 operating system, including the Finder hanging or crashing, incompatibility with certain apps, and the AirPort connection dropping.

If you’ve seen this issue on your end, please let us know.

Prosoft Releases Data Rescue 3.0

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Date: Tuesday, October 13th, 2009, 03:10
Category: Software

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Data Rescue II, Prosoft Engineering’s data rescue and recovery program, was updated to version 3.0 on Tuesday. The new version, a 14.8 megabyte download, features the following fixes and changes:

- Data Rescue 3 runs on OS X 10.4.11 (Tiger) and later, including OS X 10.5.x (Leopard) and OS X 10.6.x (Snow Leopard)
- Data Rescue 3 sports a brand new Graphical User Interface, with animated visual effects.
- Many (over 100) new Reconstructed file types have been added for Deleted and Deep scans. See the last section of this file for a current list of supported types.
- A powerful new feature called FileIQ allows Data Rescue 3 to learn about new file types from user-supplied samples. This greatly extends the number of potential Reconstructed file types supported.
- A new File Previewer feature, which can preview many file types prior to recovery.
- The ability to suspend and resume scans, and to manage the results from multiple scans.
- Improved support for scanning Apple software RAID drives.
- Improved support for scanning large > 1TB drives.
- Improved support for recovering large sparse disk image files.
- Improved support for recovering pkzip files.
- Improved recovery of hard linked files.
- Added ability to unmount or eject a volume (useful when booted from DVD-ROM).
- Automatic check for updated Data Rescue 3 version.
- Improved features to assist if a call to Prosoft technical support becomes necessary.
- New Home Folder feature when booted from DVD; avoids the need to re-enter activation key each time it’s booted.
- Numerous bug fixes.

Data Rescue 3 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run and retails for US$99.